Yesterday, North Carolina’s elected insurance commissioner pointed out the error of the Governor and General Assembly, who are refusing to allow North Carolina any involvement in the coming insurance marketplace. As reported on the Progressive Pulse, Commissioner Wayne Goodwin issued a statement saying:
“I believe that North Carolinians know what’s best for North Carolina. State-based regulation best protects our consumers and promotes a healthy insurance marketplace. At the earlier direction of the General Assembly, the Department of Insurance and the Department of Health and Human Services have laid the necessary groundwork to implement a state-based health insurance exchange and other provisions of the federal health care law. I am disappointed that state leaders now want to cede more control of our health insurance market to the federal government.
Having a federal exchange in North Carolina will no doubt limit our ability to resolve consumers’ health insurance issues at the state level. People who have questions, concerns or complaints about health insurance will have to seek out help from the federal government rather than from trusted regulators in our own state.”
Commissioner Goodwin should know. He was part of a three year planning process to prepare the state for expanded coverage. Regardless of where one stands on Medicaid expansion, it is just plain wrong to say, as Governor McCrory has, that North Carolina is not prepared to have any involvement in the insurance exchange. In fact, the department had a model plan for consumer assistance and had already hired staff to get it off and running. Any assertion to the contrary is simply false.
Commissioner Goodwin should be commended for calling the lie. Let’s hope he is willing to continue speaking out on this issue. We need someone out there speaking truth on insurance.